Washington Crossing Bridge: Officials consider replacing extremely narrow bridge

A nightmare, nerve-wracking, scary and stressful are some of the words drivers use to describe trying to cross the extremely narrow Washington Crossing Bridge.

It’s a tight squeeze to start with and two pickup trucks caused a back-up on the bridge, worried they might hit each other. The lanes on the 119-year-old bridge are only seven and a half feet wide, compared to the width of an interstate highway lane, which is 12 feet.

"It’s a little scary. I went over once because I don’t have to go that way often, but I was in my new car and I was nervous I was gonna knock off my side mirror," Natala Balla stated.

Something that apparently happens often, even though most carefully crawl across the free, historic bridge over the Delaware River.

Driver's view of crossing the Washington Crossing Bridge.

"It’s taped because I’ve used the paint on it, but it was all scuffed. And, every car I’ve had - this is the third car since I’ve lived here the last 25 years - has had scuff marks," Carleen Thum explained.

Nicknamed The White-Knuckle Bridge, Christopher Canaan says you just have to know how to navigate the narrow stretch. "I’ve been married and divorced twice. Nothing can shake me."

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission admits the bridge has been a thorn in the side of drivers for decades. They are now considering replacing it since it’s showing structural deterioration and doesn’t meet current design standards. Those who use it are reacting.

Balla said, "I feel like it’s probably a safety hazard, at this point."

Cheyenne Randle said, "I think it’s gonna make some people mad, because now you’re gonna have to go through that toll."

And, Thum added, "Yes, please do it. Please find the funds and make it happen."

The commission says if it does decide to move forward and replace the bridge, it’s still years away. They’re looking at 2027 before it would even begin to start getting permits and working on designing a proposed bridge, so drivers will continue to need to take it extra slow.